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Mexican

by Now Then Sheffield

Serves 4
Recipe by Street Food Chef

Enter any Mexican taquería in California and you'll find carnitas on the menu, usually pork butt (the shoulder roast) - braised first, pulled apart, then roasted on high heat to caramelise. We source our pork locally from Moss Valley Fine Meats. We serve it either in a burrito with black beans, rice and salsa, or in a taco for a lighter bite.

600g pork shoulder
1tsp cumin seeds (toasted)
1tsp paprika
Cider vinegar
Salt & pepper

Lightly oil and salt the pork rind to make sure you get great crackling, then roast the pork at 175°C. After four hours, take the meat out of the oven, drain the juices and set them to one side. Take the crackling off. If it hasn’t crackled enough, you can put it back in the oven at a higher heat (190°C), but keep an eye on it, because it can blacken quickly.

Pull the pork apart and cover it with a generous splash of cider vinegar, toasted cumin seeds, paprika, salt and pepper. Put it back in the oven for 20 minutes, then make a stock with the juices that you have set aside. Add some water and reduce it over the heat. Pour a little of the stock over it, so that the meat soaks it up, and serve it with salsa and rice for a delicious Mexican treat, or with wheat flour tacos, salsa, iceberg lettuce, sour cream, jalapeños and coriander.

streetfoodchef.co.uk

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By Jeff Boss

‘Tequila? That’s that stuff made from cactus juice with the worm in it that makes you trip if you eat it.’ Okay, time to dispel a few myths about Mexico’s national drink.

1. ‘It’s made from cactus’
It’s not. It’s made from agave, and agave is a succulent. Botanically agave has more in common with asparagus than a cactus.

2. The worm
Tequila never has a worm. Mezcal sometimes does. The worm is a moth larve (there are two types) that live on the agave. The farmers (campesinos) sometimes fry them up. They have more protein than rice. Why is it in the bottle, then? Possibly to check the alcoholic strength. If the worm is preserved, there’s enough alcohol in there. ‘Con gusano’ (with worm) is marketing for the gringos. It’s just a bit of fun, although any quality producer wouldn’t actually put a worm in their product.

3. ‘If you eat the worm, you trip’
Sorry, you don’t. That’s a confusion between the word ‘mezcal’, a distillate created from fermented agave, and ‘mescaline’, the psychoactive drug that occurs naturally in the peyote cactus found throughout Mexico. Mexican cactus drink and Mexican cactus drug - you can see the confusion.

Want to know the difference between mezcal and tequila? Come and see us at StarmoreBoss and all will be revealed.

starmoreboss.com

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by Now Then Sheffield

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